What: #5 Boston University (15-15, 10-8 PL) at #1 Bucknell (23-9, 16-2 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Sunday, March 4, 2018, 2 p.m. (ET)
TV: CBS Sports Network
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Listen Live: BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or purchase online
- Pom-pom giveaway, sponsored by Toninos
- BJ's $500 halfcourt shot
- HQ Bison Trivia (students only) at halftime; $1,000 grand prize
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (14.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.3 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (8.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F: Avi Toomer (4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (21.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.3 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (15.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg)
With a Win over Boston University, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 24-9 overall and 14-1 at home this season.
• ... advance to Wednesday’s Patriot League championship game and host either No. 2 Colgate or No. 6 Holy Cross.
• ... reach the championship game for the 12th time in the 28-year history of the Patriot League.
• ... reach the 24-win plateau for the eighth time in school history.
• ... win its seventh straight game; 17th in the last 18; 20th in the last 22; and 24th in its last 29.
• ... improve to 12-4 all-time against the Terriers.
• ... improve to 67-32 under Nathan Davis.
• ... improve to 121-26 against Patriot League opponents at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell is back in a familiar spot, reaching the Patriot League Tournament semifinals for the 21st time in the 28-year history of the league. The top-seeded Bison held off No. 8 Loyola 83-78 in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, and now fifth-seeded Boston University comes to Sojka Pavilion fresh off an 88-82 road win over No. 4 Lehigh.
• Bucknell finished 16-2 in Patriot League play and won the regular-season championship by four games over Colgate. The Bison are trying to become the first team since American in 2008 and 2009 to repeat as Patriot League Tournament champion.
• Sophomores Bruce Moore and Avi Toomer along with freshman Paul Newman were suspended from game action for the Loyola game on Thursday due to a violation of team rules. Toomer and Newman will be in uniform and available on Sunday vs. Boston University, while Moore remains suspended indefinitely.
• Since seeing its 10-game winning streak end in overtime at Lehigh on Feb. 5, Bucknell has won another six in a row. The Bison captured the outright Patriot League title for the fourth year in a row and seventh time in the last eight years.
• Bucknell is 13-1 at home this season and 23-1 in its last 24 at home, but on Sunday the Bison will face the only visiting team to win at Sojka Pavilion in 2017-18. Boston University won 84-79 here back on Jan. 2.
• Earlier this week, seniors Stephen Brown, Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas all earned First Team All-Patriot League honors, with Thomas garnering the Player of the Year award. This is the first time in league history that three players from the same team were named to the First Team. Some facts & figures on this senior class:
• This is the first class in Patriot League history to win four straight outright regular-season titles.
• This class has an 85-47 overall record and a 58-14 mark in Patriot League play. They have played in an NCAA Tournament and two NITs thus far.
• This is the second class in school history to feature three 1,000-point scorers. Foulland (1,721), Thomas (1,700) and Brown (1,241) have combined for 4,662 points and rank fourth, fifth, and 19th on Bucknell’s all-time scoring list.
• All three members of the class currently rank in the top 11 in the Patriot League scoring race. They are averaging a combined 51.1 points per game and are accounting for 63.3% of the team’s points this season.
• Dating back to mid-December, the Bison have won 19 of their last 21 games, and they are 23-5 since starting the season with consecutive road losses at Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 21.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game after his 27-point, 11-rebound effort against Loyola on Thursday. Thomas, who was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award mid-season watch list, is one of four Division I players currently leading his conference in both scoring and rebounding.
• Thomas has earned seven Patriot League Player of the Week honors, giving Bucknell eight this season (Nana Foulland has the other). Thomas has a school-record 17 20-point games, including a record-tying four 30-point games, on the season. The seven Player of the Week honors ties the league record, previously set by Lehigh’s Tim Kempton last season. Thomas had a 38-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist gem at Stony Brook on Nov. 26 and a 36-point, 13-rebound effort at Lehigh. Thomas now ranks 26th nationally in scoring, 37th in rebounding, 11th in defensive rebounding, first in free throw attempts and first in made free throws (through Thursday’s games).
• Thomas has attempted 10 or more free throws in a game 13 times this season. Only counting his made free throws (7.1 per game), Thomas would be the 44th-leading scorer in the Patriot League. Thomas already has broken the school records for points and made and attempted free throws in a season.
2017-18 NCAA LEADERS, FREE THROW ATTEMPTS
- Zach Thomas, Bucknell 294
- Trae Young, Oklahoma 259
- Nick Dixon, UTRGV 257
- Chris Silva, South Carolina 249
- R.J. Cole, Howard 241
2017-18 NCAA LEADERS, FREE THROWS MADE
- Zach Thomas, Bucknell 227
- Trae Young, Oklahoma 222
- Nick Dixon, UTRGV 203
- Jon Elmore, Marshall 194
- Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne 192
• Boston University has warmed back up after a five-game losing streak to start the month of February. The Terriers, who recently welcomed all-star guard Cedric Hankerson back from injury, closed the regular season with back-to-back wins over Lafayette and Army, and on Thursday they held off Lehigh 88-82 to kick off postseason play on the right foot. Center Max Mahoney, a Third Team All-Patriot League selection, scored 27 points against the Mountain Hawks and is now the team’s leading scorer at 13.2 points per game, just ahead of Hankerson at 13.1 ppg.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Boston University game will be televised on CBS Sports Network, with Jason Knapp and Pete Gillen calling the action.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong handling the play-by-play. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is available online free of charge on personal computers via BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com. To listen on iPhone and Android devices, download the official Bucknell Athletics app.
• Live statistics can be accessed via BucknellBison.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Bucknell Patriot League Tournament History
• Bucknell has an all-time record of 37-22 (.627) in 28 Patriot League Tournaments. The Bison have reached the championship game a league-record 11 times, including wins in 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017, and reached at least the semifinals in 21 of 28 years.
• This is Bucknell’s ninth appearance as the No. 1 seed. The Bison are 18-4 when playing as the top seed, with four titles.
• This will be Bucknell’s 19th consecutive Patriot League Tournament game played at home as the higher-seeded team. The last time the Bison played on the road for a PL Tournament game was in 2009, when they lost in the quarterfinals at second-seeded Holy Cross.
Bison PL Tourney Log
Year Seed Results
1991 4 def. Army 67-49; lost Fordham 82-76
1992 2 def. Army 74-55; def. Holy Cross 86-77; lost Fordham 70-65
1993 1 def. Lehigh 69-65; def. Colgate 75-73; lost Holy Cross 98-73
1994 5 lost Holy Cross 96-91
1995 2 lost Army 94-78
1996 4 def. Lafayette 56-55; lost Colgate 67-61
1997 2 def. Lehigh 84-54; def. Colgate 71-58; lost Navy 76-75
1998 3 def. Holy Cross 60-56; lost Navy 80-61
1999 3 def. Holy Cross 76-52; def. Lehigh 58-50; lost Lafayette 67-63
2000 3 lost Lehigh 73-62
2001 6 def. Colgate 75-68; lost Navy 88-64
2002 3 def. Army 70-59; lost Holy Cross 64-57
2003 5 def. Lehigh 52-47; lost Holy Cross 75-50
2004 4 def. Holy Cross 66-60; lost Lehigh 60-45
2005 2 def. Lafayette 70-34; def. American 53-35; def. Holy Cross 61-57
2006 1 def. Army 59-47; def. American 64-50; def. Holy Cross 74-59
2007 2 def. Navy 62-43; def. Army 68-47; lost Holy Cross 74-66
2008 7 def. Navy 87-86 (3OT); lost Colgate 54-40
2009 7 lost Holy Cross 75-56
2010 2 lost Holy Cross 67-64
2011 1 def. Army 78-51; def. Lehigh 66-64; def. Lafayette 72-57
2012 1 def. Navy 87-63; def. Lafayette 79-52; lost Lehigh 82-77
2013 1 def. Navy 58-42; def. Army 78-70; def. Lafayette 64-56
2014 4 lost Army 72-71
2015 1 def. Holy Cross 90-83 (OT); lost Lafayette 80-74
2016 1 lost Holy Cross 77-72 (2OT)
2017 1 def. Army 78-62; def. Navy 70-65; def. Lehigh 81-65
2018 1 def. Loyola 83-78; vs. Boston U. championship games in bold.
Last Time Out
• Zach Thomas logged 27 points and 11 rebounds, and top-seeded Bucknell held off No. 8 Loyola 83-78 on Thursday night at Sojka Pavilion in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal round.
• Thomas, who went 6-for-11 from the field and 13-for-17 from the foul line, hit the 20-point mark for the 17th time this season, a new school record. Kimbal Mackenzie added 18 points, hitting four 3-pointers, while backcourt-mate Stephen Brown scored 16 points to go along with four assists and two steals in 37 minutes of turnover-free basketball.
• Nana Foulland also had an excellent all-around game with 14 points, eight rebounds, a career-high five assists, and a season-best five blocked shots.
• Loyola really hurt the Bison on the offensive glass, parlaying 18 offensive rebounds into a 26-4 advantage in second-chance points. Loyola attempted 75 field goals to just 50 for Bucknell, but the Bison made up the difference at the free-throw line, where they outscored the Greyhounds 27-5.
• Thomas, the national leader in free-throw attempts, went 11-for-14 in the second half alone, including the two clinchers with under a second left in the game.
• Bucknell led for 36:27 of the 40 minutes, but the Bison just could not shake the upstart Greyhounds, who were coming off an 82-79 win over Army West Point in a down-to-the-wire first-round game two nights earlier.
• Bucknell shot 48% for the game, including an 8-for-28 clip from the 3-point arc. The Bison attempted 22 treys in the first half but only six in the second, as they kept getting to the foul line. They were 23-for-33 from the stripe in the second half.
• Loyola shot 45.3% overall, 5-for-17 from long distance, and just 5-for-12 from the foul line.
• Foulland tallied five of Bucknell’s 10 blocks on the evening, one shy of his career high. It was the first time the Bison reached double digits in blocked shots since Feb. 20, 2000, when it had 12 in a game at Colgate.
Bucknell vs. Boston University
• Bucknell and Boston University have met 15 times previously in men’s basketball, and the Bison have an 11-4 lead in the series. This is the first postseason meeting between the two teams.
• Bucknell had won seven straight from the Terriers until Boston University won 84-79 at Sojka Pavilion back on Jan. 2. That remains Bucknell’s only home loss of the season, and dating back to last year it is Bucknell’s only home loss in its last 24 games at Sojka.
• Bucknell is 4-3 at home in the series, 6-1 on the road and 1-0 at neutral sites. In games played in Boston, Bucknell is 2-1 at Agganis Arena and 4-0 at Case Gym.
• The two teams met for the first time at the 2005 Cable Car Classic at Santa Clara. The Bison won that one 63-57.
• In this season’s first meeting, Boston University ended Bucknell’s 15-game home winning streak behind 21 points from Cedric Hankerson. Bucknell committed 19 turnovers, including 14 in the first half, leading to 24 points by the Terriers. The Bison were led by 25 points, 13 rebounds and three steals by Zach Thomas. Nana Foulland was limited to four shots in 18 minutes due to foul trouble and finished with eight points.
• In the rematch in Boston on Jan. 28, Bucknell won 91-79 as Stephen Brown had 21 points to go with five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Thomas tallied 18 points, five rebounds and four assists, Foulland had 15 points in just 15 minutes while battling foul trouble. Walter Whyte had a double-double for the Terriers with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Bucknell shot 57.4% from the field and posted its highest point total in a road game this season. The Bison led by as many as 23 points in the second half.
• In seven career games against Boston University, Foulland is shooting 61.3% from the field while averaging 13.9 ppg. He is 29-for-42 against the Terriers in the last two seasons.
• Brown has also saved some of his best games for the Terriers. In his career against Boston University, Brown has averaged 12.3 points per game while shooting 58.6% (34-58) from the field and 45.5% (10-22) from 3-point range.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 281-117 (.706) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison finished at least .500 in PL play for the 24th time in 28 Patriot League seasons.
• Bucknell won three straight outright Patriot League regular-season titles from 2011-13, becoming the first team in league history to accomplish that feat. The Bison are now the first to win four in a row, and they have claimed seven of the last eight.
• Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Bucknell is 106-26 (.803) in Patriot League play.
• Bucknell has won 12 Patriot League regular-season titles in 28 years. No other team has more than five.
• Bucknell is making its ninth Patriot League Tournament appearance as the No. 1 seed.
• Bucknell won Patriot League Tournament titles in 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017. The Bison have made it to the semifinals 21 times and to the championship game 11 times in the 28-year history of the league.
• The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).
2018 All-Patriot League Notes
• Bucknell made some history in this year’s All-Patriot League voting. Seniors Stephen Brown, Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas all earned First Team honors, marking the first time in league history that one team placed three players on the First Team. The three seniors have now combined for eight All-PL citations.
• Thomas was named Patriot League Player of the Year. He is the fifth Bison in the last eight years to receive that honor, joining Mike Muscala (2011, 2013), Cameron Ayers (2014), and Foulland (2017).
• Foulland (First Team 2017, 2018; Second Team 2016) and Brown (First Team 2018; Second Team 2017; Third Team 2016) are now three-time All-Patriot League selections, while Thomas earned First Team honors for the second straight year.
• Foulland and Brown were both named to the Patriot League All-Defensive Team. It was the third straight selection for Brown and second straight for Foulland, who was the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year.
• Foulland was also selected the 2018 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and he was joined by Brown on the five-man Academic All-Patriot League Team. Foulland and Muscala are the only players in league history to win a Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year award over the course of a career. Muscala swept all three as a senior in 2013.
• This was Foulland’s third straight appearance on the Academic All-PL Team. He is Bucknell’s 11th Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s basketball in the 28-year history of the league and the first since Muscala in 2013.
• Bucknell has now had at least one first-team all-conference player in 32 of the last 35 seasons, dating back to the team’s tenure in the East Coast Conference.
Numbers Worth Noting
• Stephen Brown has scored in double figures in 18 straight games and is 38-for-43 from the foul line in his last 11 games.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is 24-for-24 from the foul line this season and has made 33 straight dating back to last year. The school record is 39, by Bo Heiden in 1986-87.
• Zach Thomas has scored in double figures in 82 of his 87 career starts, including all but one this season. uNana Foulland has a blocked shot in 17 straight games and has scored in double figures in 16 straight.
• Bucknell is 25-3 in the month of January and 16-6 in February under head coach Nathan Davis.
• The Bison are 15-2 this season, 37-3 over the last two seasons, and 51-7 in the Davis era when leading at the half.
• Bucknell is averaging 43.0 points in the second halves of games this season, the 15th-best figure in the country. That figure jumps to 45.3 ppg at home, which ranks ninth in the nation.
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 80.8 points per game (42nd nationally). The Bison are scoring 1.09 and allowing 0.99 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 16-2 when scoring 80 or more points, but 7-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The team’s lone losses when scoring 80 were a 93-81 setback at North Carolina on Nov. 15 and a 92-89 overtime loss at Lehigh on Feb. 5.
• Stephen Brown averaged 15.4 ppg in Patriot League play. The senior is taking more shots than at any other point in his career. Brown is averaging 10.8 FGA per game this season, more than two attempts above his previous career high of 8.6 last year.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 16.8 ppg and 10.1 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 48.8% from the field at home this season and 45.2% on the road, even though it has shot better from the 3-point arc on the road (34.7% compared to 32.4% at Sojka Pavilion).
• The Bison now lead the nation in made and attempted free throws (through Thursday’s games). 30.3% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the fourth-highest rate in the country.
NCAA TEAM LEADERS, FREE THROWS ATTEMPTED
- Bucknell 808
- Rider 793
- UNLV 792
- Bethune-Cookman 785
- Niagara 765
NCAA TEAM LEADERS, FREE THROWS MADE
- Bucknell 582
- Auburn 581
- Xavier 560
- UTRGV/UNLV 557
NCAA TEAM LEADERS, PERCENTAGE OF POSSESSIONS RESULTING IN FREE THROWS
- Saint Louis .315
- Cal-State Fullerton .310
- Arizona State .305
- Bucknell .303
- UNLV/Kentucky .301
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Zach Thomas ranks 33rd out of all Division I players with a score of 27.39. PER measures the aggregate of a player’s statistical efficiency.
• Zach Thomas is trying to become the eighth player in school history to average 20 points in a single season. Joe Steiner (1960-61) holds the single-season record at 22.0 points per game.
• The last Bison to average 20 points per game was Chris Simpson (20.5) in 1993-94.
• Thomas recently became the fourth player in school history to record 600 points in a season, and he has broken Mike Muscala’s record for points in a season with 678.
• Rob Feaster of Holy Cross (784 in 1993-94), Tucker Neale of Colgate (771 in 1993-94) and C.J. McCollum of Lehigh (766 in 2011-12) are the only players in Patriot League history to record 700 points in a season.